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Abstract:

Two consecutive prospective randomized trials were performed to study three immunosuppressive protocols in 195 kidney transplant recipients. Only adult primary renal transplant recipients with one haplotype HLA mismatch were included. All patients received kidneys from living related donors and had previous donor non-specific blood transfusions. Study I included 112 recipients who were randomly assigned to receive either azathioprine (Aza) and prednisolone (P) (n = 54) or cyclosporin (CsA) and P (n = 58). Patients in this study were followed up for 3-6 years (mean 50 +/- 8 months). Study II included 83 recipients who were randomly assigned to receive either triple therapy of Aza-CsA-P (n = 41) or conventional therapy of Aza-P (n = 42). Patients in this study were followed up for a period of 32 +/- 10 (range 26-43) months. Analysis of data in the two studies demonstrated the absence of statistically significant differences in graft or patient survival rates over short- and long-term follow-up periods among recipients of the conventional immunotherapy and those receiving the CsA-P or the triple therapy. The overall frequency of acute rejection episodes was not significantly different between the two treatment groups of each study. Serum creatinine was significantly higher in the CsA-P group while the incidence of infection was significantly lower in the triple group. When switching from one regimen to another is considered, at least 75% of the one-haplotype HLA mismatched live-related donor renal transplants could be maintained on conventional immunotherapy with comparable degree of success to those treated with the CsA-P or the triple therapy. However, in at least 15% of patients with conventional immunotherapy, CsA could reverse ongoing rejections and can therefore be considered as a rescue treatment.

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